On 6 October, 1934, away at White Hart Lane, a young Willie Frame made his debut for Leicester. It would be the first of many appearances - 459, to be exact - the rugged Scot would make for the Club.
His career at Filbert Street, positioned at right-back, spanned over 17 years and included a Second Division medal, a superb record of making the most wartime appearances (220) of any City player and, incredibly, a blood transfusion to the City’s masseur in an attempt to save his life.
Frame was a true Foxes favourite, of that there is no doubt. But while the finish to his career at Filbert Street ended on a high, the beginning of it was luckless and unnerving. Nine matches into the season, on 6 October, 1934, a young Frame came into a struggling side destined to slip into the Second Division.
The opponents were the floundering Tottenham Hotspur who, similarly to Leicester, had started their season well below par. Both sides had only picked up six points in the opening eight games, both came into the match on the back of two losses and both were eager to get their seasons back on track.
Indeed, the hankering for two points made for quite a showing, according to the reporter at the Sunday Mirror, who described the meeting as ‘near to ideal’ and ‘one of the finest matches seen between two First Division sides in the past two seasons’.
Spurs took the lead before a strike from Danny Liddle drew things level ahead of the break - then a goal from Arthur Maw in the second half, coupled with an unwavering defence, kept the home team at bay and seemed to all but secure the win for Leicester.
It was in the 89th minute that Frame’s solid debut turned into a disappointment. The ball, off the top of a Tottenham head, plummeted toward the goal. Frame lunged at full stretch and looked to place the ball anywhere safe.
Instead, the net bulged. The match concluded. Leicester headed home, indignantly, with only half the deserved points. As for young Willie, he took home the unwanted accolade of the first, and only player to this day, to score an own goal for the Club on a debut.
Anyhow - they say it’s not about how you start, but rather how you finish. This much was certainly true for Frame.
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